Now on Demand Ransomware Resilience & Recovery Summit - All Sessions Available
Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?


Incident Response

Elevate the Value of Threat Intelligence in the SOC

 Security Operations Centers (SOCs) Are Now Becoming Detection and Response Organizations

 Security Operations Centers (SOCs) Are Now Becoming Detection and Response Organizations

More organizations are producing and consuming cyber threat intelligence than ever before, and those measuring the effectiveness of their CTI programs is higher than ever – jumping from 4% in 2020 to 38% in 2021, according to the SANS 2021 Cyber Threat Intelligence (CTI) Survey. However, a few areas where CTI adoption seems to be lacking are in integration, automation and operationalizing threat intelligence. The report find that teams rely on automation in the SIEM more, which is likely the reason why CTI adoption trails in these areas. SIEMs have been around for decades, designed to replace manual log correlation to identify suspicious network activity by normalizing alerts across multiple technology vendors. SIEMs were never designed to handle the full threat intelligence management use case or integrate with and handle the volume of data from modern security tools and technologies, like Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR), Network Detection and Response (NDR) and Cloud Detection and Response (CDR).

The center of gravity of the Security Operations Center (SOC) used to be the SIEM. But now this is shifting as the mission of the SOC shifts to become a detection and response organization. Detection and response capabilities are not siloed in single tools but extend across the entire ecosystem. What’s needed is a platform that can integrate with multiple, different internal and external threat and event data sources (including from the SIEM) and support bi-directional integration with the sensor grid. A platform with this type of capability holds the key to accelerating security operations and enables the modern SOC to deliver on its mission.

We can look at the SolarWinds Orion security breach, a.k.a. SUNBURST, for an example of how such a platform can help. 

When SUNBURST made the headlines, security teams around the globe were bombarded with questions from their leadership team: What do we know about the breach? Were we impacted? If so, how can we mitigate risk? If not, what can we do to protect ourselves moving forward? Information and preventative measures flooded the security community, from a variety of sources and in a variety of formats—including news articles, blogs and security industry reports, MITRE ATT&CK techniques, indicators of compromise (IoCs) from threat feeds, GitHub repositories, Yara rules and Snort signatures. It was also important to understand the context of the available information. Given the organization’s environment, technology stack, network architecture and risk profile, what was the most relevant and high priority information to focus on to mitigate risk? 

Let’s start with detection. Security teams needed to gain an understanding of the threat quickly, investigate the impact, make decisions and determine what actions to take. Using the platform to automatically aggregate, normalize and deduplicate data from any source – structured or unstructured, internal or external – they could create a central repository of what was known. Correlating events and associated indicators from inside their environment (from sources including the SIEM, log management repository, case management system and security infrastructure) with external data on indicators, adversaries and their methods, provided context to understand the who, what, where, when, why and how of an attack. Changing risk scores and prioritizing threat intelligence based on parameters they set around indicator source, type, attributes and context, as well as adversary attributes, allowed them to automatically filter out what’s noise and focus on what really matters to the organization rather than wasting time and resources chasing ghosts.

Now for response. With a complete picture of the attack with context, security teams could enable the data as part of their infrastructure and operations, with the flexibility to do so manually, automatically or some combination. They could see who else within the organization needed to consume and understand this data – the network security team, threat intelligence analysts, threat hunters, forensics and investigations, management, etc. – and share it. They could export the data to their existing infrastructure allowing those technologies to perform more efficiently and effectively – delivering fewer false positives. And they could send the right data back to the right tools across the sensor grid (firewalls, IPS/IDS, routers, web and email security, NDR, EDR, etc.) to generate and apply updated policies and rules to mitigate risk.

In the days, weeks and months that follow, security teams can rely on the platform to continuously and automatically reevaluate and reprioritize as new data, learnings and observations come in. From tactical intelligence that can be used to create block lists or deploy signatures, to operational intelligence on what techniques are used and tools to watch for, and strategic intelligence to identify possible threat actors and what they are after. They can remain confident that they are focused on the right priorities, addressing incidents faster, and making more informed decisions.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

With a modern platform designed for integrating, automating and operationalizing intelligence, we can start to achieve new levels of effectiveness of CTI programs, including measurable and positive impact on time to detection and response. Given that SOCs are now becoming detection and response organizations, isn’t that the metric that ultimately matters?

Related: A People-First Approach Keeps Threat Intelligence Teams on Track

Written By

Marc Solomon is Chief Marketing Officer at ThreatQuotient. He has a strong track record driving growth and building teams for fast growing security companies, resulting in several successful liquidity events. Prior to ThreatQuotient he served as VP of Security Marketing for Cisco following its $2.7 billion acquisition of Sourcefire. While at Sourcefire, Marc served as CMO and SVP of Products. He has also held leadership positions at Fiberlink MaaS360 (acquired by IBM), McAfee (acquired by Intel), Everdream (acquired by Dell), Deloitte Consulting and HP. Marc also serves as an Advisor to a number of technology companies.

Click to comment


Daily Briefing Newsletter

Subscribe to the SecurityWeek Email Briefing to stay informed on the latest threats, trends, and technology, along with insightful columns from industry experts.

Join the session as we discuss the challenges and best practices for cybersecurity leaders managing cloud identities.


SecurityWeek’s Ransomware Resilience and Recovery Summit helps businesses to plan, prepare, and recover from a ransomware incident.


People on the Move

Bill Dunnion has joined telecommunications giant Mitel as Chief Information Security Officer.

MSSP Dataprise has appointed Nima Khamooshi as Vice President of Cybersecurity.

Backup and recovery firm Keepit has hired Kim Larsen as CISO.

More People On The Move

Expert Insights

Related Content


A recently disclosed vBulletin vulnerability, which had a zero-day status for roughly two days last week, was exploited in a hacker attack targeting the...


The changing nature of what we still generally call ransomware will continue through 2023, driven by three primary conditions.

Data Protection

The cryptopocalypse is the point at which quantum computing becomes powerful enough to use Shor’s algorithm to crack PKI encryption.


As it evolves, web3 will contain and increase all the security issues of web2 – and perhaps add a few more.

Data Breaches

LastPass DevOp engineer's home computer hacked and implanted with keylogging malware as part of a sustained cyberattack that exfiltrated corporate data from the cloud...

Artificial Intelligence

The degree of danger that may be introduced when adversaries start to use AI as an effective weapon of attack rather than a tool...

Incident Response

Microsoft has rolled out a preview version of Security Copilot, a ChatGPT-powered tool to help organizations automate cybersecurity tasks.